‘The revolution will not be tweeted’

Image: TV screen

Here is the article by Malcolm Gladwell to which several students referred in the discussion of last week’s “Protests and social media” topic:

Small Change: Why the revolution will not be tweeted (The New Yorker, Oct. 4, 2010)

“What makes people capable of this kind of activism? The Stanford sociologist Doug McAdam compared the Freedom Summer dropouts with the participants who stayed, and discovered that the key difference wasn’t, as might be expected, ideological fervor. ‘All of the applicants—participants and withdrawals alike—emerge as highly committed, articulate supporters of the goals and values of the summer program,’ he concluded. What mattered more was an applicant’s degree of personal connection to the civil-rights movement. All the volunteers were required to provide a list of personal contacts—the people they wanted kept apprised of their activities—and participants were far more likely than dropouts to have close friends who were also going to Mississippi. High-risk activism, McAdam concluded, is a ‘strong-tie’ phenomenon.” (Gladwell, 2010)

It’s already a classic essay about the role of social media in activism.

Question: Do you know what the reference is in Gladwell’s subtitle?

Answer: It refers to an amazing and wonderful song by the great poet Gil Scott-Heron: The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.

This version has subtitles.


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